GABAA receptor subtypes underlying general anesthesia

Bonin RP, Orser BA. (2008) Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 90(1):105-12.


General anesthetics produce a constellation of behavioral responses and widespread neurodepression. Recent studies have implicated the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) subtype A receptor as a primary anesthetic target. During the past decade, considerable progress has been made in dissecting the behavioral effects of anesthetics according to the subunit composition of GABAA receptors. In this review, we describe how particular GABAA receptor subtypes expressed in different brain regions are critical for the expression of behavioral endpoints, such as amnesia, sedation, and hypnosis.

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